Religare Voyages plans air ambulance service in country, to tie up with hospitals

Indocopters, a Vectra Group company and distributor of Eurocopter in India, is planning to invest close to Rs. 150 crore in expanding its three maintenance, repair and overhaul centres located in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

The company will set up another MRO centre at Bhubaneswar in Orissa during the second half of the current year, while Hyderabad too is on Indocopters' radar for setting up a centre here. “Hyderabad is definitely on the radar and is of lot of interest to us. We will set up a centre as and when volumes warrant,” company CEO Rohit Kapur said.

Indocopter signed agreements for supply of three AS 350 B3 helicopters — two to Summit Aviation and one to Morey Group — as part of the India Aviation 2010 here on Thursday. The company also signed an agreement for supply of EC135 Eurocopter to a Mumbai-based corporate, but did not prefer to name the firm. The total market value of the contracts was pegged at 15 to 18 million euros.

Speaking to reporters later, he said the chopper segment in the country had the potential to double in the next three to five years from the existing 250 aircraft if the policy and infrastructure-related issues were addressed in time. “The demand is higher and the segment will move quicker if infrastructure and proper policy are put in place,” he said.

Quick service teams

Indocopters was planning to capture at least 50 per cent market share in the coming years and it was in talks with eight to ten customers in this direction. The company was speeding up expansion of its facilities and would soon deploy quick service teams for Eurocopter repairs.

Meanwhile, Religare Voyages, an integrated aviation and travel solutions company, announced plans to launch an air ambulance service in the country.

Religare Voyages chief executive officer Sanjay Godhwani said the company would press a jetliner into service for faster reach to hospitals and was tying up with various hospitals within the country as well as South and South-East Asian countries. “We want to take advantage of the booming medical tourism in the country,” he said.

Turboprops were already deployed in Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi for point-to-point services in smaller destinations and the acquisition of a jet was aimed at bringing together some destinations abroad. He did not rule out the possibility of the company launching a scheduled airline service.